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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Listen Up, Buttercup!

Something I've thought about recently is how much we talk compared to listening.  You've heard it since first grade, but the old saying is true: "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason--listen twice as much as you talk!"  It's struck me lately how little we listen--to ourselves, to others, and to what God is trying to tell us.


Missionaries talk to all kinds of people every day.  A good missionary knows that his ace in the hole in helping people understand what he's saying is to start by understanding where they are coming from.  It's hard sometimes because people are "so busy" and don't really want to stop and talk, but if you can ask the right question to get them thinking, then listen intently to what the response is, you can get a better picture of how to tailor the gospel message to their needs (*Note: the same can be said about working relationships, conversations with your spouse or kids, friends, or anybody! The point is to listen!).  Conversely, it is very difficult for someone to feel the peace of our message if they are unwilling to listen to what we are saying or, more importantly, what the Holy Ghost (a.k.a. the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, etc.) is trying to tell them. 

For whatever reason, we sometimes choose to tune out God's voice in favor of our own, the voices of friends or family, or the voices of the world (e.g. media, Hollywood, advertisements, popular culture, or misinformed rumors).  While it is good to listen to different sources for our information and have an open mind about things, when we discount or discredit the voice of the Lord, we are distancing ourselves from the happiness and security He's got waiting for us.  Period.  We cannot be happy if we tune out God's voice. 

So how does one learn to listen?  How can we tune out the noise and listen to the message of love coming in softly but clearly?  These age-old questions have surprisingly simple answers:
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. ...My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me... (John 10:11&27)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
I say unto you, I would that ye should...hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.  For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?  (Mosiah 5:12&13)
And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things...And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep... I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life. (Alma 5:57,60,62)
The invitation is clear: Come, follow Him.  Listen to what He's saying.  Repent and be baptized.  If you really listen, all He's asking us is to be happy.  No strings attached, no installation fees, no monthly interest, just an agreement to happiness in this life and the next.

Are you listening?

Much Love,

Elder Spendlove

Image from :http://blog.analysisuk.com/2009/01/default.aspx

3 comments:

  1. This is very sound advice, especially for this day and age when it's so easy to tune out. Thanks for the reminder, Elder!! SO proud of you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All through the New Testament Christ makes the statement "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Don't think that was for nothing....

    ReplyDelete
  3. man, this post rings so true! how often do we really listen to the people around us? Are we being good listeners? or just wanting more stat's? If we truly love our people, we listen to them and of course to the spirit and what it is telling us to do!

    ReplyDelete

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